Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wisconsin voters without ID allowed to vote in November, judge says

Judge permits voters without ID to sign affidavit, allowing them to vote in general election

A federal judge today ruled that Wisconsin citizens who are unable to attain an ID for the purposes of voting would be allowed to sign an affidavit allowing them the right to cast a ballot in the upcoming general election.

From Molly Beck at Madison.com:
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman issued a preliminary injunction order on Tuesday in a case challenging the state's law requiring voters to have photo identification, granting a request from the American Civil Liberties Union.


While most voters either have an ID or can get one easily, "a safety net is needed for those voters who cannot obtain qualifying ID with reasonable effort," Adelman wrote in the order. "The plaintiffs’ proposed affidavit option is a sensible approach that will both prevent the disenfranchisement of some voters during the pendency of this litigation and preserve Wisconsin’s interests in protecting the integrity of its elections."
This is a decision that provides a reasonable solution for people who cannot legally vote under the conditions passed by Wisconsin Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker. Those conditions needlessly required identification for voters, hundreds of thousands of which have never used an ID in state elections without fraud presenting itself as a major problem in the past.

A sample affidavit, as
directed by Judge Adelman
In fact, prevention of fraud may have never been the true purpose of the law. A former aide to retired state Sen. Dale Schultz, himself a Republican, said that GOP lawmakers were giddy about the law, excited about disenfranchising traditional Democratic voting blocs. And current U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) said he believed that voter ID would help turn Wisconsin into a red state during the upcoming presidential election.

I applaud the decision made today by Judge Adelman because it makes sense. A person’s right to have a hand in selecting their representatives shouldn’t require a small piece of plastic -- and it should not be infringed by a handful of party insiders that hope to use a voter ID requirement as a means to further their political ends.

The Republicans in the state legislature were wrong to pass this headache of a bill from the very beginning, and Gov. Walker was wrong to sign it into law. Their true aim from the start seems to have been the disenfranchisement of voters, a deplorable goal for those who are supposed to represent our government and the interests of the citizens of Wisconsin.

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